Last year, The Asheville Art Museum was recently awarded a $25,000 Ribbon of Hope grant from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation in support of its Connections program, a new arts-based program serving adults with mild to moderate memory loss as well as their care partners.
When the Museum reopens its renovated and expanded facility in spring 2019, Connections will take place monthly. Specially trained Museum staff and volunteers will lead groups of adults with memory loss and their care partners in a guided gallery experience that invites conversation about artworks in the Collection and special exhibitions.
Participants will then engage in a related art-making or other multi-sensory activity in the studio or galleries, which allows for further engagement and socialization.
Over the past two years, the Museum has been working with community partners to pilot and assess the aspects of Connections at our pop-up location On the Slope.
Connections is based on the demonstrated efficacy of similar programs taking place in art museums in the United States and around the world that address the need for community gatherings and safe spaces to stimulate the minds of adults with mild to moderate memory loss. Studies show that art therapy can enhance communication, brain function, and social interaction for people living with dementia. In fact, visual art can trigger dormant memories and emotions, inspiring conversations among patients who normally struggle to express themselves.
For more information about Connections, to receive monthly program information, or to be added to our email list of potential studio instructors/performers, please contact Kristi McMillan, adult programs manager, at email@example.com or 828-253-3227 ext. 122.